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Sexual assault by midwife-a possibility?

(252 Posts)
SuperSange Sun 11-Feb-18 08:45:38

I'm currently in therapy for binge eating and depression. I didn't suffer from either of these until I gave birth four years ago. I had always known that there were consent issues surrounding my vaginal examinations during labour, but in the last few days (a week since my last session) it's really crystallised in my mind very clearly what happened. I was sexually assaulted by a midwife during labour.

Thing is, after four years, what exactly can I do about it? I just pushed it away and never thought about it, be grateful you have a baby, etc. We had repeated miscarriages, so he's an only child and will remain so. I'm really confused.

pigshavecurlytails Sun 11-Feb-18 08:47:54

I was sexually assaulted by a midwife during labour.

what actually happened?

PotteringAlong Sun 11-Feb-18 08:48:04

Have you had a debrief about your labour? I don’t think there’s a time limit on it.

HarveyKietelRabbit Sun 11-Feb-18 08:49:54

What happened?

Dermymc Sun 11-Feb-18 08:51:47

What happened?

Idontmeanto Sun 11-Feb-18 08:52:32

You can complain to the hospital and/or the NMC (nursing and midwifery council.) Was midwife was doing something in/around your vagina for her own sexual gratification/power trip or was carrying out a medical procedure involving your vagina without explaining why it was necessary and gaining your consent? Neither are acceptable, but if the former I’d consider involving the police, the latter official health care regulation channels. Did you have someone with you when you gave birth who could support you? Have you hard a birth debrief?

LilaBlue Sun 11-Feb-18 08:55:14

Can you explain why you think that? thanks

Lj8893 Sun 11-Feb-18 08:55:47

Either way your feelings are totally valid but there is a difference (although both still very inappropriate) between examinations without consent and sexual assault.

The former can end someone's career, the latter is a lot more serious.

SuperSange Sun 11-Feb-18 09:02:00

I hadn't understood the difference, sorry. I was labouring, she stated she was going to do an examination, not asked, I shouted no ( was at transition I think, and on entonox) She said, come on, I do need to, I was crawling up the bed on my back to get away from her, shouting no, but she did it anyhow.

SuperSange Sun 11-Feb-18 09:04:52

I missed a couple of questions. I did have s birth debrief, but I didn't bring that up. I had issues with being moved rooms several times during labour and lack of information. My husband was with me; I think he was just in shock at the whole thing, like me, he didn't really understand that you could refuse these things.

Lj8893 Sun 11-Feb-18 09:04:56

I think you need to make a complaint with PALS and the NMC. Do you know the midwifes name?

I think a birth debrief would also be a good idea.

FancyNewBeesly Sun 11-Feb-18 09:06:10

I understand how you’re feeling.

I had an extremely traumatic gynae procedure several years ago, which I left feeling like I’d been sexually assaulted (again), and it was extremely confusing and disturbing. I’ve been in counselling for this and it has helped, but I’m still very angry about what happened. It was all very unnecessary and could have been completely different.

I think a birth debrief may help you flowers

Lj8893 Sun 11-Feb-18 09:06:12

I don't think it's sexual abuse as it doesn't appear she was doing it for sexual gratification or power. But it certainly was a lack of consent, information and care.

MrsJoshDun Sun 11-Feb-18 09:08:26

I think anyone who touches you without consent then it’s assualt. She should not have done it regardless of whether she felt she needed to or not.

SongforSal Sun 11-Feb-18 09:14:44

OP....It is the midwives job to examine you down their. Yes you said 'no', but in the throes of labour I expect she is used to this and had yours and the babies best interest at heart. To say this was sexual assault, when she needed to ascertain your dilation for the safety of the baby is a little steep.

I once had a smear which REALLY hurt, and I screamed for her to stop. She did. Perhaps for you you should raise the complaint along the lines of you felt helpless during the birth in that you felt the midwife didnt listen to your needs.

NewYearNiki Sun 11-Feb-18 09:16:00

I had a colonoscopy once and a gastroscopy another time.

The sedative wore off during the colonoscopy and it was so painful I too was shouting no at them over and over and they carried on regardless.

The gastroscopy was hell too as soon as the endoscope started to go down i realised i couldnt stand it, changed my mind about having it done and pulled it straight back out. They got a male nurse to hold my hands out of the way and another to hold my head and put the tube back down.

It does freak you out. It was invasive and frightening not having control of what was happening to your body and I was shaky afterwards and for a long time.

I never felt now though they did anything wrong. They were doing their job, they didnt assault me.

Perhaps you really did need it. Can you get your notes to see what it was done for. She will have documented the examinations.

The definition of sexual assault is

Sexual assault is an act in which a person sexually touches another person without that person's consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will.

That is not what the midwife did but I totally understand the violated feeling. Its quite shocking

Dermymc Sun 11-Feb-18 09:17:37

That doesn't sound like the best care and certainly she acted without consent.

However did she need to examine you for baby's safety?

I think you could raise a PALS complaint.

It wasn't sexual assault.

NewYearNiki Sun 11-Feb-18 09:17:47

I think anyone who touches you without consent then it’s assualt

Not so.

For example police.....if you touch them it's assault, if they touch you it's arrest, etc.

floriad Sun 11-Feb-18 09:17:49

SongforSal
Screaming no repeatedly and trying to crawl away didn't make the midwife pause...?

The OP still has the right to say no. "even" when giving birth.

Sarahjconnor Sun 11-Feb-18 09:18:37

My labour was horrific. Midwives changed, I wasn't told and a male midwife entered the room when I was dozing and examined me without consent. I felt it was an assault and complained 4 times but other than an interview nothing happened. At the interview I was repeatedly told I was confused due to gas and air - but DH came Wirth me and he just repeatedly said 'No, that is not what happened" so they gave up bullying me in the end. I had counselling and it helped me recover. I still have some PTSD.

I am very sorry for what happened to you. I do not have good advice but want you to know you are not alone, and you can recover. I had another child with a planned C Section.

floriad Sun 11-Feb-18 09:19:42

However, seeing as there most likely was no sexual component to it / the touching wasn't sexual?

I wouldn't call it sexual assault. But that doesn't mean her actions were just "ok" either...

Snowydaysarehere Sun 11-Feb-18 09:20:45

Once during transition I said I wanted to go home and come back tomorrow. They didn't let me leave but it wasn't kidnap. They did their job to ensure the safe delivery of my ds. That's all.

Only1scoop Sun 11-Feb-18 09:23:49

I don't think any alleged assault here was 'sexual' from the info you have given.

kaytee87 Sun 11-Feb-18 09:24:14

Do you think the midwife was touching you for her own sexual gratification?
I doubt there was any sexual element at all.
I'm sorry you had a bad labour and suggest you ask for a birth debrief.
Can I ask the reason you didn't want an examination by the mw?

Whatsinanameanyway201 Sun 11-Feb-18 09:25:10

I wouldn't call that sexual assault.. However, it does sound like you didn't have chance to consent which is very intrusive. I had similar, midwives literally putting their entire hands up and inside me, it was agonizing. I also didn't consent, but I was in so much pain, in such a vulnerable position I was powerless to stop them. I too shouted no several times. The midwives where I had my daughter were awful. I got myself sterilized after this, vowed to never ever allow it to happen again. I'd have loved more children, but that experience put me off for life.
I'm sorry for what you went through.

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